County soccer tournament: North Rowan 2, East Rowan 1
By Jordan Honeycutt
MOUNT ULLA —Perhaps no position in soccer is as vital to success as the goalkeeper.
The North Rowan Cavaliers have a good one.
Desiree Rincon was a stone wall in net for the Cavs in their 2-1 victory over East Rowan Monday.
The Mustangs had many scoring chances but were denied on all but one of them.
East thought it had tied the game when Lindsay Gobble broke free and found the corner of the net, but she was ruled offsides by the referee, erasing her goal.
“We missed way too many of really good scoring chances,” East Rowan coach Megan Smith said. “We didn’t possess the ball and control the game like we needed to but credit them because they were the better team tonight and their keeper came up huge for them.”
Rincon’s largest save came in the second half with North clinging to a 2-1 lead.
In a frantic scurry for possession of the ball, East striker Annie Beyer found herself with a point-blank shot and fired it toward the net.
All of a sudden, the ball bounded off of Rincon and back into the field of play.
“She shot it hard and I saw it but knew I couldn’t get to it to catch it,” Rincon said. “So I just stuck my left foot out there and blocked it.”
North’s offensive attack was paced by first half goals by Meredith Soklowski and Mariesa Johnson.
“Our girls are really young and we have had several of them tied up in winter sports and to have had no scrimmages, I am very proud of this win and how we battled all night,” North coach Sally Hundley said. “We had to buckle down there with the 2-1 lead and not get complacent and lucklily we were able to do just that.”
Scoring the lone goal for the Mustangs was Amber Ritchie.
North will now move on to take on the no.1 seed Salisbury in tonight’s semifinal matchup at 7 P.M.
“I hope we can build on this and be ready to play a very good Salisbury team here tomorrow night. We will have to keep playing at a high level for sure,” Hundley said.